Town to request changes to street enhancement project

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To address safety concerns

By David Meade

Williamston Town Council will officially request the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to make a major adjustment to the recent Street Enhancement Project on West Main St.

Council received a recommendation Monday from the revived Williamston Streetscape/Street Enhancement Project Committee to address unforseen problems resulting from a portion of the project.

Besides numerous complaints about the new bulbouts, safety concerns have been raised about emergency vehicles being able to navigate West Main during peak traffic times. The primary concern is traffic backup and flow on West Main Street due to vehicles making a left turn onto Minor Street, particularly during school traffic.

The recommendation states – After discussing possible options, members of the committee decided that the best course of action to remedy the safety concern is to tear up the long bulbout on the park side of West Main directly in front of Minor St. and replace it with two smaller bulbouts, positioned so that a turning lane can be created.

The recommendation is based on SCDOT and the subcontractor who worked on the project being able to meet the completion deadline and other details necessary.

Williamston Mayor Mack Durham said that if the changes can be made, they will be done at no additional cost to the town.

The current project was scaled back from the original plan which included stamped concrete crosswalks and lighting along both sides of the street to match the Phase 1 street enhancement project on East Main St. which was done several years ago.

According to SCDOT “C” Program Manager Chris Jordan, the original project was approved for $321,000 in Federal funding and the town’s twenty percent match of $64,391 came from Anderson County Transportation Committee (ACTC) C-Fund money.

The current project was bid at about half that amount with construction cost of $154,516, SCDOT engineering expense of approximately $32,000 and inspection fee of $20,000 bringing the total cost of the project to approximately $206,516.

If not spent on changes, the remaining grant funds will be returned to the FHWA with 20 percent of the amount coming back to the town.

The committee met Monday, Feb. 23 at Williamston Town Hall to discuss possible solutions. Attending the meeting were members of the original Streetscape Committee, representatives of Police, Fire, EMS, Town of Williamston and SCDOT.